Encourage Summer Reading

Encourage Summer Reading

Summer reading is sometimes one of those goals you set at the beginning of summer and by the end of summer, no books have been read or the pile is sadly very small.

All the good intentions and charts and plans seem to fall by the wayside as pool days, vacation, picnics, play dates and family fun crowd out the quiet moments designated for reading.

Encourage Summer Reading

Yet, reading is a favorite past time in our house.

We LOVE reading.

Reading is fun, educational, adventurous, exciting and inspiring.

Reading is a great way to take a break from life, visit a new place and learn something new.

Teaching our children to love reading takes preparation, dedication and some good old parenting creativity.

During the school year, we have the help of school assignments, programs and other special incentives to get our kids reading.

But, during the summer, the job falls 100% on YOU.

How can we make kids enjoy summer reading? How can we encourage them to spend time lost inside the pages of a great book?

It can be challenging, especially if you have a son or daughter who dreads the thought of books.

Encourage Summer Reading

So, how can you encourage summer reading in your home?

Whether you are a busy family like us each summer or whether you spend lots of great quality time at home, here are some tips to encourage summer reading!

Summer Reading Tips

  • Make books available. Have them in every area of your home.
  • Have lots of different kinds of reading available. Maybe today your child feels like a good novel or maybe they feel like looking at a picture book or maybe they want to learn about something specific… Having lots of great choices really helps kids want to read!
  • Provide rest time. No matter how old your kids are they need some quiet time each day. Especially in the busy, hot summers. Rest time ensures time to sit quietly and read.
  • Make a reading space. Sometimes we set up blankets and pillows under the dining room table or we make a blanket tent or I set out a blanket in the middle of the floor and tell my girls it is a reading island. A change of scenery at home can help get a good 30 minutes of quiet time with books!
  • Visit the library. Your kids might be bored with your books at home! Grab a book you would like to read and plan to spend an hour in the air-conditioned local library. Your kids can explore books and enjoy some time reading new books.
  • Visit a book store. Big bonus of book stores… coffee shops for Mom! I love grabbing a coffee and taking my girls to the children’s section of our book store.
  • Make some reading charts. Your local library may even have a great summer reading program already set up for you!
  • Set reading goals. Ask your kids what they’d like to read and how much they think they can reasonably read over the summer.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher. They may have some great reading tips for your child’s reading level!
  • Read aloud. Choose a series that everyone will love and read it out loud together.
  • Make sure YOU read in front of your kids!! Setting a good example of reading in your home will show your kids that reading is a lifetime activity to ENJOY!

Encourage Summer Reading

A few reading things we love:

Kindle Unlimited – This has been SO HELPFUL to us. I can get all different kinds of books for the girls on their kindles. Whether you have the free app or a kindle, this program really helps me find books my girls want and have them available to read. Plus, a kindle is an easy, lightweight way to haul lots of books with us as we travel.

Digital Libraries – If you have a kindle or the app, you can download the digital versions FREE from your library! Ask your librarian for help to set that up.

Audible – Instead of reading aloud yourself, try listening to books on the go! Kids can color, build with legos, craft or lay quietly while books are read to them.

Special Tips for Overseas Moms:

Reading can be hard when you are overseas. Finding books in English is not easy. But don’t give up because reading can still be a great summer activity for your kids!

1} Ask around – other expats will have books and usually they are happy to share or trade!

2} Visit the book store – I know… the books aren’t in English. BUT… there probably IS an English section in the store. Plus, my girls still look at the books in French! Kids books are usually fun to look at regardless of the translation. Language learning AND summer reading at the same time.

3} Find an international school – If you have an international school in your country, they probably have a real library! Ask if you can visit sometime through the summer to borrow books. They just might let you!

4} Look for free PDF books online – there are lots of places to find free books online! Sites like EPBookSpot, Archive.org, All In One Homeschool {reading links on the right sidebar} or ManyThings have lots of books, some of them with the audio versions as well!

Free Websites for Families

10 Websites You Need to Know

5} Free reading websites – Something like Wattpad allows your kids to read other kids’ writing AND allows them to add their writing to the website!

What are some fun ways that you encourage reading in your home?

**adapted from my original 10 Ways to Encourage Summer Reading posted on mom-spot.com





  1. I recommend any of the Beene Brown books. Currently listening to “Daring Greatly”. Excellent!!! Also, another great website for an online library is Epic! It’s free for educators in the US, but very affordable for the rest of us. And it has books for all ages and high quality! For our family, it’s been worth every penny;)

  2. Can highly recommend The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah.
    And then all the other books she has written available on kindle!

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